Thursday, March 22, 2018

All The Things

Cooking meals, homeschooling, creating time for each of my people, working, and keeping the house clean (enough)... my usual... is just one small part of all that my brain is processing right now as we prepare for Ivy. Bullet Journaling helps a ton, but I still feel a bit like my mind is on a hamster wheel, thinking about (in no particular order)...
  • Where we are in the process, analyzing each step and trying to figure out when we might be traveling (June????)
  • Preparing Lainey emotionally for this big change, sharing a room, sharing her toys, and making sure she really gets it that there will be enough love to go around. 
  • Creating a family photo album to introduce our family to Ivy 
  • Writing a letter for her foster family
  • Preparing her new room, clothes, etc.
  • Stocking up on little toys to leave in gift bags for the little ones when we are gone (they will get to open one little gift each day that we are gone)
  • Creating our packing list and trying to remember all the little things that were helpful to know the first time around (plug adapters, extra toilet paper, shower caps, etc.)
  • Wading through immigration paperwork, and assuring that every line is PERFECT in order to not cause any delays because of minor mistakes
  • Downloading Chinese cartoons from YouTube and loading them up on this little guy.
  • Learning Mandarin (as much as possible, any way) and preparing emotionally for the frustrations that are sure to arise from the language barrier
  • Creating emotion & potty cards to help Ivy communicate with us
  • Wrapping up our grant paperwork
  • Creating / buying gifts for her foster family and her orphanage caregivers
  • Learning all about her medical conditions and where to turn for help
  • Preparing the paperwork for the international adoption clinic so we can get in to have her assessed soon after we return
  • Checking in on our medical insurance to get ready for all the visits and specialists
  • Praying through her transition and the loss she is about to experience once again
  • Applying for our Chinese Visas
  • Preparing to take time off of work
  • Helping prepare Canaan for his role (he's coming with us! Whoop!), as well as preparing him to experience China (learning all about the Great Wall, etc.)
Saying all this sounds a bit like complaining, but really even with the heavy load, it's all still so exciting that we are getting so close now to our baby girl! Aaaaanndddd... if you want to bring me all the coffee and all the hugs, I'd be okay with that. ;)

Introducing Ivy!!!!

J A N U A R Y   11:

I sat down at work, bursting inside but keeping calm on the inside. Just the day before we received THE call, the one we'd been waiting for for over a year. We have A LITTLE GIRL! An absolutely beautiful baby girl. Our daughter!!!

I don't talk about our adoption much at work, and wanted to keep this news quiet for you know, at least 24 hours. As I sat there waiting for the others to arrive for a meeting, my sweet co-worker turned to me and said, "I had this crazy dream last night that you came into work today and said, 'we've been matched with a little girl.'". I said, "Wait, when did you dream this?". "Last night." I whispered in complete shock, "We got matched YESTERDAY!" And then of course it all came gushing out as I shared with her photos of our new baby girl.

Some fun facts about our girl:
  • She is currently living in a foster home (we are SO grateful for this!)!
  • She turned 3 in November, exactly one week after Ezra's 6th birthday and one week before Canaan's 8th birthday - her birthday is smack dab in the middle. 
  • She is already potty trained (can I get an Amen?!). 
  • She likes to CLEAN!
  • She loves playing in water and riding her bike.
  • She can use chopsticks and she isn't a picky eater (she loves RIBS and roasted peas).
  • She likes to be outside (she'll fit right in with this nature-lovin' momma)
  • She is active and a thrill seeker, and loves to ride with her foster dad on his m-o-t-o-r-c-y-c-l-e (Jesus be near).
  • She has an 8-year old foster sister with downs syndrome that is also being adopted by a Holt family, so we'll be able to hopefully keep the girls connected! 
These days all of the children adopted from Ch*na have some medical or special needs. Our newest little girl is, of course, no exception. She has vascular malformations (which have the potential to be much more complicated than we originally thought), and she also has either a PFO or VSD heart defect, the paperwork is unclear - but either way we know that somewhere in her heart is a hole.

We are so thankful that we will be able to provide her with the best possible medical care, as well as be her forever family!